Chapter 15: From Field to Formal

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Chapter shoutouts to: WishThatWasMe and infernal- for popping into my notifications with wonderful comments and votes!

*Again, a little short because I've been crazy busy trying to prepare for exams. Hopefully, fingers crossed, it'll be slightly better over the next two weeks! And as per usual, another cliffhanger (sorry about that last one haha, this does go into length about Hailey and Tanner :')) The actual formal gala will likely span out over the next two chapters!

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The next morning, Matt and I pack our bags and wave goodbye to Toronto. 

We end up a little late to his noon soccer practice and I find myself wincing at the cold metal benches and squeals of fans as Matt slips into his uniform and takes off on to the field. Despite my voice being drowned out by the crowd, I cheer along side the gaggle of girls in the front rows of the bleachers whenever a goal is scored or, admittedly to my embarrassment, when Matt glances over and winks.

From the shrieks around me, I know I'm not the only one feeling a flush creep across their cheeks. 

And engrossed in watching the game, I barely notice when someone slides in to a spot next to me.

"So," Tanner leans forward with a casual grin, "How was your trip with Matt?"

"You again," I murmur, eyes still glued to the field. "Aren't you supposed to be on there, 'coaching' or something?"

"Hey I've done my fair share over the last few days," he retorts, "The least you can do is spare a few details about where you went."

"And what is it exactly you want to hear?" I let out an exasperated sigh. "That we went on a hot date? That I caught Matt in the shower?"

"No, but maybe you would have liked that?" Tanner waggles his eyebrows and I smack him on the shoulder.

"If you must know, we went to Toronto," I reply with a pointed glare. "Skate rink, the zoo, nothing special."

"Sounds like dates to me."

"Outings, trips, day visits," I correct him and list off a few more words, "Nothing more than being out here with you is."

"Ouch okay," Tanner winces, but the mock hurt in his eyes is quickly replaced by curiosity. "And there's nothing more?"

"Nope." I try to affirm this with a convincing tone but it falls flat, even to my own ears, and Tanner gives me an awkward pat on the back. 

"You know, I'm usually pretty good with spotting and swooping in when a chick is unhappy with someone -"

"That's gross."

"-But you do seem to like him."

I stay silent, avoiding his stare as he continues.

"I'll take that as a yes, you do like -"

"Let's not go there," I sigh. I can sense ears around me perking up and some not-so-subtle glares being thrown in my direction. Whether it was because of the topic of Matt or because I was sitting with Tanner, I wasn't quite sure - and I was absolutely not prepared to continue the conversation and figure it out.

 "Huh." Tanner, oddly enough, drops the topic as something on the field catches his attention.

I follow his gaze and notice a tall brunette cheerleader talking to Matt, a wide grin across her face and hand lingering casually on his shoulder.

"You seem oddly not bothered by that," he remarks, studying my expression.

"Should I be?" I shrug noncommittally.

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